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Chip Kelly 'concerned' by Eagles' CB situation
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Curtis Marsh and Brandon Hughes have broken hands and are out indefinitely, Eddie Whitley was released after sustaining a knee injury, and the Eagles are down to five healthy cornerbacks two weeks before opening day.
 
It’s a crisis situation at cornerback, and Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said the team will be keeping an eye on the waiver wire when final cuts are made to try and beef up the position.
 
The Eagles are so thin at corner that one or more of the remaining healthy cornerbacks in the regular rotation – Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and Brandon Boykin – will have to play in the preseason finale against the Jets Thursday night, even though they normally wouldn’t.
 
The only other healthy corners on the roster right now are training camp lifer Trevard Lindley and rookie Jordan Poyer.

Kelly said he won’t play his starters Thursday night, with cornerback being the likely exception just out of necessity.
 
“We are concerned, with three of those guys being out,” Kelly said. “And that’s where postgame on Thursday will be a big day as far as what becomes available, but our whole thought is that we’ve got to play with what we’ve got. So that is a concern when you do have three guys at the same position out right now.”
 
Williams and Fletcher, two offseason free agency additions, are the projected opening-day starters, with Boykin, a second-year pro from Georgia, expected to man the slot.
 
Kelly said before practice at the Linc on Sunday he didn’t have any information on the injuries to Marsh and Hughes, but broken hands for cornerbacks are potentially serious issues, and there’s a good chance neither will be able to play for six to eight weeks.
 
Marsh, the Eagles’ third-round pick in 2011, got hurt during the Eagles’ preseason game against the Panthers last week. Marsh has played in 22 games over the past two years, mainly on special teams. He got only 63 snaps on defense last year.

Hughes, a fifth-round pick of the Chargers in 2009, got hurt Saturday night in Jacksonville. He’s been with the Eagles since 2010, playing in 30 games with one start.
 
With final cuts coming up on Saturday, the Eagles are in a tough position. Can they afford to keep Marsh and/or Hughes on the 53-man roster until they’re healthy enough to play? Probably not. But if they place them on injured reserve, they lose them for the year. There is a partial-season IR but the Eagles aren’t likely to use it on a backup corner.
 
The Eagles can’t count on Lindley and Poyer at this point, so they just don’t have many options. Lindley, the Eagles’ fourth-round pick in 2010, hasn’t played in a regular-season game since 2010. Poyer is a rookie seventh-round pick from Oregon State.
 
Kelly said he’ll meet with the team’s medical staff to determine the best course of action with guys like Hughes, Marsh and offensive tackle Dennis Kelly, who is out indefinitely after undergoing back surgery.
 
“Are they back Week 3, are they back Week 8, that all has to go into the final decision on who’s part of the 53,” Kelly said. “We do have some guys in that situation, the Marshes, the Hughes, Dennis Kelly."